It’s easy to become obese in America. These 7 charts explain why.


It’s no secret that Americans have gotten much, much bigger over the past few decades. The signs are all around us, from XXXL clothing sizes to supersize movie seats and even coffins.

According to an analysis from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the average American man now stands at 5-feet-9 1/4 inches tall and weighs 196 pounds — up 15 pounds from 20 years ago. For women, the change has been even more striking: The average female today stands 5-feet-3 3/4 inches and weighs 169 pounds. In 1994, her scale read 152 pounds

The latest CDC estimates now show that, as of 2016, 40 percent of US adults and 19 percent of youth were obese.

This data on the state of our weight comes from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Surveys (NHANES), a combination of interviews and physical examinations that’s considered the gold standard measurement. Since the 1980s, the NHANES has been charting obesity rates — and extreme obesity rates — as they’ve soared.

Alongside the rise in obesity, we’ve also seen growing rates of associated chronic disease — like diabetes, heart disease, and metabolic syndrome.

Clearly it’s gotten easier and easier to gain weight, and harder and harder to avoid it.

So what’s going on here? There’s an obvious answer — we eat more than we burn off. But increasingly public health experts agree that we are not consciously choosing to overeat.

“The food environment is a strong predictor of how we eat,” says Scott Kahan, director of the National Center for Weight and Wellness and a faculty member at both Johns Hopkins and George Washington University. “And in America, the unhealthiest foods are the tastiest foods, the cheapest foods, the largest-portion foods, the most available foods, the most fun foods.”

But why talk about how …read more

Source:: Vox – All

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